The acquired immunodeficiency syndrome dementia complex as the presenting or sole manifestation of human immunodeficiency virus infection

Arch Neurol. 1987 Jan;44(1):65-9. doi: 10.1001/archneur.1987.00520130051017.


Twenty-nine patients at risk of developing acquired immunodeficiency syndrome (AIDS) presented with cognitive, motor, and behavioral dysfunctions characteristic of the AIDS dementia complex, either preceding or in the absence of major systemic opportunistic infections or neoplasms. Six of these patients were medically well, while the remainder suffered only milder manifestations of the AIDS-related complex at the time of their neurologic presentation. Over half of these patients either survived for five to 16 months or died without exhibiting systemic manifestations of AIDS. This experience indicates that the AIDS dementia complex may be the earliest, and, at times, the only evidence of human immunodeficiency infection, and that its development in this context may present a diagnostic challenge, particularly in individuals in whom risk for infection by the AIDS virus is cryptic.

Publication types

  • Case Reports
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, P.H.S.

MeSH terms

  • Acquired Immunodeficiency Syndrome / complications*
  • Acquired Immunodeficiency Syndrome / diagnostic imaging
  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Brain / diagnostic imaging
  • Brain / pathology
  • Dementia / etiology*
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Tomography, X-Ray Computed